I Want That Purple Stuff

August 28, 2017

Jolly Ranchers. Skittles. Gatorade. No matter what, Eric always goes for the purple stuff. This week, he uncovers the deliciously deep roots of his love for grape flavor. Plus, Eric challenges Brittany to eat an unhealthy amount of peanut butter… all for the culture.

CREDITS

The Nod is produced by Brittany Luse, with Eric Eddings, Kate Parkinson-Morgan, and James T. Green. Our senior producer is Sarah Abdurrahman. We are edited by Annie-Rose Strasser, with editing help this week from Blythe Terrell. Engineering from Cedric Wilson and Haley Shaw. Our theme music is by Calid B. Additional music in the show by Haley Shaw and Takstar.

Show transcript

Eric: So we’re walking into a bodega to ask a really really deep and important question. Excuse me. Do you carry grape drink?

Clerk: Grape drink? Yes. Welch’s grape, we got it.

Eric: No no no no. Not grape juice like the Drink.

Clerk: Grape drink? No only juice grape juice.

Chappelle (skit): What the fuck is juice. I want some grape drink baby. mmm, it’s purple.

Eric: From Gimlet Media, This is The Nod. I’m Eric Eddings.

Brittany: And I am Brittany Luse.

Eric: OK Brittany. Do you remember the classic Dave Chappelle drink and juice bit?

Brittany: Yeah everybody remembers that.

Eric: So in that bit he starts off talking about how like white people try to make fun of black people because they love like watermelon and chicken. But then he goes and–

Brittany: why would you make fun of somebody for like… Those are two of the best foods!

Eric: Exactly.

Brittany: Whatever.

Eric: And so they talks about how you know he was like hanging out with white people –well one he’s studying white people and while he was with one, they offered him some some grape juice and he’s like What the fuck is juice. I want some drink! Some grape drink.

Dave Chappelle: Remember that commercial for sunny delight when all the kids run in from outside playing and they all run to the fridge? Alright I got some purple stuff, some Sunny D… as soon as he says Sunny D all the kids go “yeah!”. Watch the Black kid in the back. If you ever see that commercial again look at the Black kid, he be like “I want that purple stuff”. That’s drink! That is drink. They want drink. I don’t want all them vitamins, I want drink. Sugar water, purple. That’s the ingredients. Sugar, water, and of course, purple.

Eric: when I listen to this clip like a part of me like shrinks a little bit but–

Brittany: I bloom. I feel the opposite way. I’m blooming right now.

Eric: But like a little bit of that is a little bit of a stereotype you know but for me I’ve always felt like there is stronger than a hint of truth to something like. You know? Growing up we drink we drink a lot of purple drink just if i’m being straight up you know we go to the gas station and or like to the candy lady we had like a candy lady in my neighborhood.

Brittany: Oh in your neighborhood. I only have one at my church.

Eric: So we will go to the candy lady and she would sell like the Hugs.

Brittany: Yes I think my mom kind of thing against me drinking soda. This is so 90s. She had a thing against me drinking soda but for some reason I was allowed to like get Little Hugs. We didn’t call them that. It was like something else I think of–

Eric: quarter water?

Brittany: Quarter water yeah and it came in like a little plastic thing with the foil top. Yeah that was supposed to imitate either like like but I guess a kind of barrel or a bottle or something like that.

Eric: Yeah it was like a barrel cause that’s a thing you drink liquids from.

Brittany: Exactly as a child. Yeah. No that was like the healthy alternative to me getting soda.

Eric: Which is amazing because it’s not the healthy alternative. And like a part of me feels like kind of weird about that because like sugary sodas are like marketed to black folks. It does happen.

Brittany: Yeah

Eric: But they’re also good. They are very tasty and like grape or purple specifically was always like my my favorite flavor, like I actually still love grape flavor.

Brittany: I believe that.

Eric: Actually the other day I happened to get like a craving for something purple. You know I just needed a little little fix. It’s better than Sometimes it’s better than like coffee like a midday coffee.

Brittany: OK. Where did you go?

Eric: Well that’s the thing.

Brittany: Cause I’m like we work near a whole foods so I got questions.

Eric: Well yes so turns out it’s really hard to find hugs in the very nice, very white part of brooklyn where our offices are.So that’s actually what you heard at the top of the show my unsuccessful attempt to find purple stuff at our neighborhood bodega and I actually went there with Chenjerai Kumanyika. He is hosting an upcoming Gimlet podcast.

Brittany: Yes.

Eric: And

Even though we were unable to find the liquid gold we were looking for, the trip wasn’t a total bust. Because during our walk, we were able to compare notes on our respective grape drink experiences, and Chenjerai told me

that he’d also seen the power of the purple stuff.

Chenjerai: When I was in Philly. And I worked in this bodega and I saw you know I mean like almost all our clients were black it was a black neighborhood or 24st and Fitzwater. When that was still a black neighborhood because it’s not anymore and there wasn’t really any grocery store near there. And folks came in and the beverages for them was like quarter waters. I mean we had juice. But you know juice wasn’t flying off the shelves.

Eric: It wasn’t what you’re here for.

Chenjerai: Yeah. Yeah. Nobody was reaching for the juice. I mean like gatorade maybe?

Eric: it’s crazy event like for me even with Gatorade, my favorite flavor is grape.

Chenjerai: There’s something about the grape though right.

Eric: It’s in my genes.

Eric: So yeah. I mean as you mentioned our neighborhood is white as hell so we couldn’t find any quarter waters or grape drink sadly. BUT we went back to the drink aisle for the next best thing.

Chenjerai: Welch’s grape soda.

Eric: And I think in a pinch would you say that like grape soda is closer to like what the drink that we would like as opposed to grape juice.

Chenjerai: Yeah it’s always soda over for sure. Yeah it is.

Eric: Do you know why it’s always soda over juice or drink over juice?

Brittany: Umm, It tastes better?

Eric: It does taste better but it’s because purple drink and grape soda both have something very important in common. That delicious fake grape flava. And I was really curious about fake grape things, so I did a little digging. And this is actually what I want to get into today. I want to get into purple stuff.

Brittany: OK.

Eric: I want to take you on a journey of discovery for why it holds such a special place in our hearts. This journey is gonna involve a little bit of science…and a little bit of history. And to start, we’re going to need to do a little taste test. So, to demonstrate the thing that artificial grape things–or purple stuff–have in common i’ve got some for you. are you excited?

Brittany: Oh my god do you have a drink for me.

Eric: I have got

Brittany: Oh my god!

Eric: A lovely assortment of purple things.

Brittany: Oh my gosh thanks. Thank you God.  This is so exciting.

Eric: We have our purple skittles and purple jolly rancher.

Brittany: OK. All right.

Eric: We’ve got some grape Gatorade. Then you have your classic classic grape soda.

Brittany: OK.

Eric: And lastly we have some Arizona grapeade.

Brittany: OK so what’s going to happen.

Eric: So we’re going to just taste some purple some purple stuff and I just want to get a feel for like.

Brittany: My thoughts?

Eric: Yeah for what you like.

Brittany: Can I eat a Skittle?

Eric: Yeah. Eat a skittle. Let’s go with some grape drink. So there’s a process to this. You know there’s a way to appreciate the things I have laid out for you. You know just like with wine you have to get the the aroma of this jolly rancher. Smell it.

Brittany: I — Jolly Ranchers on the low— one of my favorite candies. I’m not going to eat it yet.

Eric: yeah I was gonna say before you eat that try the Gatorade. and like this sommeliers they recommend you swirling around in your mouth to aerate it.

Brittany: I Know, thank you. That is refreshing.

Eric: it’s good right? Contrast that with this lovely classic grape soda.

Brittany: I’ll say this now that I’ve smelled two grape things in a row, something about grape don’t smell right. Oh that’s delicious. Grape soda, delicious.

Eric: I’m about to have some for myself. All right. So here we go. Here is the grapeade.

Brittany: They all have the same funny smell.

Eric: Hmmm. Hmmm

Brittany: Oooh. Can i eat the jolly rancher?

Eric: Yeah go for it.

Brittany: I feel like a teenager right now.

Eric: It’s good right.

Brittany: Mmhm!

Eric: So what do you notice about all these things?

Brittany: They have the same like essential flavor like they taste similar but they all — the smell to me is actually even more distinct. They all smelled the same. It was so weird.

Eric: It’s interesting that you say that because like when I started going down this rabbit hole and like looking at the phenomenon of purple stuff like the thing that really jumped out at me is that all grape flavored things have one thing in common, and it’s that they all contain this chemical compound that if I’m being honest is like very much a mouthful.

Nadia: Methyl anthranilate?

Eric: So let me try to say that. Metho like metho anthranilite?

Nadia: Methyl anthranilate.

Eric: Methyl anthranilate. OK. Gotcha.

Eric: That is Nadia Bernstein. She is a historian of science and technology. And the thing that she focuses on in her research is artificial flavor.

Nadia: These like much reviled molecules. Like the artificial flavors you see less and less on packaged food these days because they’ve got this bad reputation.

Eric: All natural is the thing now right?

Nadia: Right when people ask me are you against or for artificial flavors, like I usually say that i’m a maximalist. I want there to be more strawberries and more kinds of fake strawberry. Like, i want there to be like, more of everything!

Eric: So when it comes to artificial grape flavoring which is the backbone of purple stuff. Nadia is the expert. So she told me the story of how fake grape came to be. And it all starts with a smell — and stick with me here because you’re going to have to follow a few steps to get back to purple stuff. Ok. So. The smell. Orange blossoms give off this smell… people love it. And a long time ago people started pulling the oil out of orange blossoms and making an essential oil from it. That essential oil is called Neroli. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but it’s used in perfumes and stuff. But the thing is, orange blossoms aren’t super easy to like, get the oil from? So people started looking around for a way to make the same smell, that Neroli smell, some other way…. So if you were a perfumer in the 19th century, being able to MAKE neroli would be so much easier than harvesting it. But in order to MAKE it, you’ve first got to figure out what IT is. And sometime in the 1890s, the key component of neroli was identified:

Nadia: so somewhere in Europe an essential oil firm which sells neroli to like perfumers and makes perfume itself analyzes neroli and finds out that a lot of neroli is actually this chemical methyl anthranilate. So they synthesize it basically from byproduct of the main fuel source of industrialization which is which is in the 19th century coal.

Eric: wait. So OK sorry and feel –like just help me break this down because I’m stupid and I hear you know coal and like things that we use like that are close to like fuel.

Nadia: Oh yeah. Well so one of the things that’s sort of disconcerting about chemistry in general– I mean chemistry is about transformations right. And so the product that you end up with came from a place but it’s atoms have been rearranged in numerous ways so it’s no longer equivalent to the material that you started with.

Eric: It literally becomes a different thing. So while it starts out as coal like functionally what you end up with.

Brittany: Is a diamond.

Eric: Is is–No it’s not a diamond in this particular case. It is a thing that is edible.

Brittany: Ok so basically what you’ve told me is that the essential oil in orange blossom is called Neroli. And Neroli is made up of this chemical compound methyl anthranilite. And like a hundred years ago, some people figured out how to synthesize methyl anthranilate from other things.

Eric: Yes but that doesn’t actually explain how you go from like methyl anthranilate to our grape stuff.

Brittany: Right.  

Eric: And THAT all starts with this one flavor manufacturing company…

Nadia: In my journeys through the archives. I found this really interesting story about the history of a company called Hurty Peck which was like a major beverage flavor manufacturer.

Eric: So is like like a like a PepsiCo or like Coca-Cola before–

Nadia: Oh no. so flavor companies are usually– like we know PepsiCo like we know Coca-Cola. We know like Frito-Lay and General Mills right. But the companies that make flavors even though they’re so important to the taste of the things that we eat most of us don’t know their names so like the major ones now are Givadan, Firmanich, international flavors and fragrances.

Eric: Yeah none of these ring a bell.

Nadia: Right. totally. And so Hurty Peck was one of these companies back in like the beginning of the 20th century.

Eric: So Hurty Peck’s founder was this guy named Gilbert Hurty and Gilbert Hurty was kind of like a creep. You’ll understand why in like one second so

Eric: So, sometime in the early 19 teens, Gilbert Hurty was riding on this street car in Indianapolis.

Nadia: This woman is standing in front of him and he gets a whiff of her perfume and it smells just like Concord grapes.

Eric: So just picture standing on a street car standing on a subway you know using today’s language and getting so close that you can get a whiff of somebody’s perfume and you kind of linger in that moment.

Brittany: You know what I’ve done that.

Eric: You’ve done that so you’re a creep too

Brittany: Yeah I’m a creep too.

Eric: So that smell reminded him of Concord grapes.

Brittany: I mean I have to say the guy had to be pretty professionally astute. You know what i mean to be able to be on a street car because back then people didn’t have good like waste removal or anything like that. Probably smelled like a whole bunch of other shit out there. And he smelled this thing and was just like grapes. This makes me really want to smell an orange blossom now so I can be like so i can look for the notes of grape.

Eric: So OK. Well actually since you wish that you could smell these things.

Brittany: Oh my God. This is so exciting.

Eric: We’ve prepared something for you.

Brittany: This is just like Price is Right. I love it.

Eric: So right here we have– I prepared a little mixture.

Brittany: You prepared it? You the chemist?

Eric: Well uh No. With help from you know my awesome chemist and flavor–

Brittany: Our senior producer?

Eric: Yes and flavor technician–

Brittany: I trust her.

Eric: Senior producer Sarah Abdurrahman. So we got some of the pure chemical grade neroli and remember that neroli has the methyl anthranilate in it. The thing that makes up all our grape flavor.

Brittany: This is so scientific. i feel like I’m on Bill Nye this is amazing.

Eric: So you have to like seriously dilute it because it’s so it’s so strong.

Brittany: Wow.

Eric: So what I’m holding here is a small, snack-sized Tupperware container. And it’s like filled halfway with oil and a few drops, just a few drops of neroli. I’m going to pop this open.

Brittany: Let me see it

Eric: And now you can take a– get a whiff

Brittany: So excited. Oh wow I’ve smelled this in perfume before. Like I mean for sure. Now I’m even more amazed at this creepy guy. This Hurty guy for smelling this woman’s neck and being like this reminds me of grapes.

Eric: So to cleanse your smell palate.

Brittany: OK.

Eric: If you will.

Brittany: Alright.

Eric: That’s the scientific term. smell some of these coffee beans we have here. Just refresh. So why don’t you pick up the neroli.

Brittany: OK.

Eric: And the grape drink and just smell them side by side.

Brittany: OK I just smelled the neroli. Now I’m about to smell the grape soda. that is–have you smelled this before? It’s really interesting.

Eric: Why is it interesting?

Brittany: Well because the neroli is so strong and then I smelled the grape soda and it’s just it’s like a diluted sweeter version. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s just it’s different but you can smell that they’re cousins. Does that make sense.

Eric: No that makes a lot of sense. So Gilbert Hurdy smells this woman’s perfume, and it reminds him of grapes. And now he’s got this idea…but first he’s gotta figure out what it was the he smelled. And at the time like the flavor manufacturers they would shop in the same places that perfume manufacturers would. Because scent is a big part —

Brittany: Of taste, yeah.

Eric: Exactly. Exactly.

Nadia: He writes to all of the essential oil firms and perfume perfume manufacturing firms trying to figure out what this chemical is and he finds it. He finds out that it’s methyl anthranilate. So he makes a grape flavor out of it.

Eric: So there it is. The source of all our artificial grape flavored goodness. Who knows where we’d be today if he hadn’t smelled that woman on that streetcar. So Gilbert Hurty makes this grape flavor out of methyl anthranilate. And he sells it to beverage companies.nAnd like after that, there is an explosion a ton of new grape drinks that come out. And this is like the early 1900s.

Brittany: It’s like a grape fever in the early 1900s.

Eric: Yes. Grape fever.

Brittany: I never knew.

Eric: The drinks had like sexy names like grape-a-co or nehi grape, rolls off the tongue, or grape-ola.

Brittany: That’s a good one.

Eric: That’s a good one right. That’s solid. And so like all these grape sodas come out and they become huge. People are into them, like you said it’s like a grape fever. Actually Nadia showed me something that made me realize this connection between black folks and purple drinks may have been much older than we ever thought. So I’m going to play you a jingle for one of those early grape drinks a soda called Nu Grape.

I got a Nugrape, nice and fine

The rings around the bottle is a ginger wine

I got your ice cold Nugrape

Brittany: It’s catchy! Who are these people?

Eric: So those are actually the Nu Grape twins.

Nadia: I think there’s like six known things recorded by them. Four of them are hymns. And then two of them are about nu grape.

Eric: So it’s like Jesus and jingles basically.

Nadia: Yeah exactly.

Eric: Are they black.

Nadia: Mmhm.

Eric: They are.

Nadia: Yeah. Well I found like a census record where they’re listed from like the 1900 census. There’s very little known about them. They’re born in 1888. One of them might have worked up a nu grape factory which was in Atlanta.

Brittany: It’s it’s very funny like using black people and black music to sell stuff is not new. It kind of reminded me of like how people always use pop music, to like sell soda and stuff like that now.

Eric: Yeah And so like when I heard this I was like oh man wait they had black people singing jingles back then?

Brittany: I didn’t realize how old of a device that was.

Nadia: They talk about how like if you have if you if you’re drinking genuine Nu Grape you can like romance your beau and she’ll fall in love with you. Like if you come home late you can give your wife a Nu Grape and she won’t beat you with a pan. Right. That like if you’re feeling blue, drink a Nu Grape and like it will lift your spirits, right? Can Grape juice do any of those things.

Eric: I don’t think grape juice can do any of those things.

Eric: So I guess all the things we’re like built– like we’re hinting around this. I’m trying to get a handle on like grape drinks or a grape soda is like artificially a grape flavor beverages… like their popularity and like speaking like black folks specifically like I grew up you know grape was my favorite flavor. Jolly Ranchers. Skittles. But especially when it came to drink. And it wasn’t just me. I’m not just this grape freak but like everybody seemed to be really into grape drink.

Nadia: Yeah.

Eric: And I’m just curious is there anything like might hint at the popularity of that for like the black community.

Nadia: Yeah well if I were to speculate a lot of these grapes sodas originate in the south right in the 19 teens and 1920s like Nugrape is in Atlanta, Nehi grape is also in Georgia,  GrapaCo. was in New Orleans and then Birmingham Alabama. So I would say that it’s like if you think about African-American culture like as being kind of like defined in a sense by this like diaspora from the south right to northern cities then this is like one of the things that you carry with you. Right. That is something that comes from it seems to come from a particular place but yet is also available nationally and that’s kind of like one of the strange comforts of industrialised food.

Eric: Yeah. I mean that makes a lot of sense as people like migrate throughout the country. You know you take your grape drink with you.

Nadia: Yeah.

Eric: You take your grape soda with you.

Brittany: That is kind of heartwarming in a way. You know what I mean? You know, I think a lot of times like I have a serious problem myself with the demonization of certain foods so it’s kind of nice to hear that there is this possibility that grape drink, something that was kind of southern, that is something that Black people just liked, that has since traveled and has become this thing that lots of black people like.

Eric: Yeah you hear about the Great Migration. And you just hear like there was no opportunity in the south.

Brittany: Yeah.

Eric: So you know hundreds of thousands of black people like you know trek to all these different cities like Chicago or New York or whatever.

But like there’s not really a lot of talk about the traditions that they took with them. You know folks liked different things and if they were moving to a new area they wanted the same things that they liked when they were at home. It made a lot of sense that like, “yeah you know when I lived in the south I was really into grape soda and you know once I got to Detroit guess what I’m still really into grape soda. I want some of that.” Learning all this, it makes you feel better about like what people will often shame. It’s nice.

Brittany: It’s nice. it makes me feel now for that little boy in the sunny d commercial that Dave Chappelle was talking about. He’s just — he’s just another one of us in the great line of history carrying the torch forward.

Eric: When he saw that purple stuff yeah and went “Ooh.”

Brittany: It was deep like he felt it deep.

Eric: He was tapping into the ancestors.

Brittany: Exactly. Exactly.

Brittany: I thought you said Grape Migration.

Eric: We should just call the episode that you on the great.

Brittany: But don’t do that because you give it away.

Eric: Right right right. Damn that’s good though.

Brittany: After the break, I’ll tell Eric about a moment in Black history he’ll never forget. It involves some peanut butter, a cowboy hat, and a little urine.

[Break]

Brittany: Welcome back.

Eric: Welcome back.

Brittany: Eric.

Eric: Yes.

Brittany: Do you know what it’s time for?

Eric: Oh yes… Yes I do.

Brittany: Peanut. Butter. History.

Brittany: OK, so this is our very first Peanut Butter History… Eric, explain to the people what it’s all about.

Eric: Peanut Butter History is our loving tribute to George Washington Carver.

Brittany: Mhm.

Eric: And our not-loving tribute to the fact that he is basically the only Black person who ever gets talked about when it comes to Black history.

Brittany: So Peanut Butter History is our attempt to balance things out, to even out the scales. So I’m gonna pick someone just as important as George Washington Carver and I’m going to tell one of my favorite stories about them in four minutes or less… I’m going to do it while eating….

Brittany: OK, so today I am eating SPOONFULS of peanut butter and like not you know the organic kind.

Eric: Of course not.

Brittany: No, not that. Not that. I’m having the kind that’s full of sugar and palm oil and salt.

Brittany: Alright, so my Peanut Butter History pick today is Florynce Kennedy.

Eric: Alright, well go ahead and grab a nice big spoonful…

Brittany: OK so opening up the jar… there we go…

Eric: [laugh] So mix that up. Alright.

Brittany: OK, and I am going to swallow – this is already so daunting – my first spoonful…

Brittany: Oh my god.

Eric: Eeeuuuggh… OK. I’ve got this timer ready. Ready… set… Go!

Brittany: [peanut butter swallowing noises] [laughter]

Brittany: Okay, so, Florynce Kennedy was a black feminist activist. And she honestly should be more widely known because she was an incredible force in civil rights activism.

Eric: Mmm.

Brittany: I mean just to give you a picture of Florynce; she often wore a cowboy hat and boots, kind of like a cowboy for social justice, if you will.

Eric: Cowboy for social justice.

Brittany: Yes, she was a Black feminist fighting for racial and social justice.

Eric: Mm.

Brittany: She fought for abortion rights, and she represented the Black Panthers, and she founded the National Organization for Women AND the Feminist Party.

Eric: Wow.

Brittany: All in the sixties, okay?

Eric: This is… I legitimately knew none of this. Sadly.

Brittany: Okay, so, she also did a lot of work organizing on college campuses, OK, working with students, especially young women of color. And one of my favorite examples-

Eric: Ju- Just for the record, you’ve got three minutes.

Brittany: Okay, okay.

Eric: You can do it. Come on. I believe in you.

Brittany: This is so gross. And one of my favorite examples of Florynce’s fiery approach to activism-

Eric: Yes.

Brittany: Was in 1973. Florynce and a small group of fellow protesters staged a pee-in-

Eric: Wait, what? [laughs] Say that again though.

Brittany: A pee-in at Harvard University. Pee-in.

Eric: I’m dying to hear this story. Please.

Brittany: Okay. Let me explain.

Eric: By the way… you’re only 3 spoonfuls in… so… let’s just get some more Peanut Butter on there… [spoon/eating noises] There you go.

Brittany: So gr — I hate you so much. OK…

Brittany: So Harvard University, the place was basically built with only men in mind, you know what I’m saying?

Eric: Yeah, as most places are.

Brittany: As most places are. The school barely had any women’s restrooms; one building, Lowell Hall, where a lot of women took their exams, had one bathroom, okay? And guess who it was for?

Eric: Men.

Brittany: Men only, okay? So the women taking exams in that building, they either had to hold in their pee for hours — or go across the street during an exam just to go to the bathroom.

Eric: Damn patriarchy, man.

Brittany: So Florynce gathered a group of women to organize a protest, but not just any type of protest. She organized a pee-in.

Eric: Like, on  – like on the ground?

Brittany: In a second, in a second. So what happens is this group of women arrives in front of the hall with no women’s bathrooms, right? They’re holding up signs like, “To pee or not to pee, that is the question.”

Eric: That is the question.

Brittany: Right. So during the protest, Florynce gave this impassioned speech, and she was really just like driving home the point that the lack of bathrooms wasn’t just about people running out of places to pee, it was about the institutionalized inequality embedded, embedded in the Harvard community.

Eric: Got to root that shit out.

Brittany: So at the protest –

Eric: You just got one minute, by the way, but you can do this. Honor this woman’s legacy.

Brittany: OK. So at the protest, every woman was carrying a jar of symbolic fake pee, and they took turns pouring one out on the building with no women’s restrooms. So they took the jars of fake piss and just poured them all over the yard.

Eric: Wow, imagine seeing that.

Brittany: I know. There was one student, she was like, “Why aren’t you guys throwing out real pee? Like we’re not hardcore enough.” And she started to say, “You know what we need to do? Is pee right here on the floor, like everybody.” So Florynce was like, no, no, no, no, no.

Eric: Chill, chill fam.

Brittany: She was like, you need to calm the crowd down. So she sent a message straight to the Dean of Harvard, she said Look, if Harvard didn’t open the bathroom for the women in that building, next year she and the girls were going to come back to do the real thing.

Eric: I mean… ay.

Brittany: You gotta love this woman, you know what I’m saying?

Eric: Yeah.

Brittany: She knows how to organize, and she definitely knew how to protest.

Eric: She does.

Eric: Also gotta say, you made it in time… by like… literally by a hair. Anything else you wanted to throw out there for Florynce? You can say it if you take another spoonful… just one, you’re almost there… might as well.  

Brittany: Mmmhmmm I got one more thing… [peanut butter noises]

Eric: [laughs] let’s go.

Brittany: So I think that this quote from Florynce herself just like really sums up the type of person that she was. “I’m just a loud-mouthed, middle-aged, colored lady with a fused spine and three feet of intestine missing and a lot of people think I’m crazy. And maybe you do too, but I never stopped to wonder why I’m not like other people. The mystery to me is why more people aren’t like me.”

Eric: Wow. Tha—

Brittany: Florynce Kennedy.

Eric: That – man, your delivery of that quote alone honors her memory so much.

Brittany: What can I say?

Eric: Your mouth also looks disgusting.

Brittany: It feels worse. (laughing)

Eric: So on that note….

Brittany: Florynce Kennedy.

Eric: Yes.

Brittany: Welcome to-

Brittany, Eric: The Peanut Butter Pantheon.

Brittany: The very last bite –

Eric: You sick?

Brittany: I had to spit up. I don’t feel right. I don’t feel great.

The Nod is produced by me, Brittany Luse, with Eric Eddings, Kate Parkinson-Morgan, and James T. Green. Our senior producer is Sarah Abdurrahman. We are edited by Annie-Rose Strasser, with editing help this week from Blythe Terrell. Engineering from Cedric Wilson and Haley Shaw. Our theme music is by Calid B.

Additional music in the show by Haley Shaw and Takstar.  

Eric: Thanks to Chenjerai Kumanyika for joining me on my quest for purple drink. The trailer for Chenjerai’s new gimlet show Uncivil just dropped. You should definitely check it out. Look for Uncivil on apple podcasts or wherever you listen. We are going to be off next week to report some new shows for you…but you should still come back to the feed in case we drop some –bonus– stuff for you next week.

Brittany: And if you need more of a Nod fix before then, you should sign up for our newsletter. Go to gimletmedia.com slash newsletter to find out how.

Eric: Till next time!

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